Over at Band Back Together we’re celebrating Project Happy and sharing happy memories or things that bring a smile to our face. So I wrote this:
It’s shocking, still, the things that will spark a memory of her.
Strawberry cake or blueberry muffins. A quick hand of Solitaire. A cactus plant. A jigsaw puzzle. The pleasant scratch of a handmade afghan. Our home team, the Portland Trailblazers. A true cherry cola. Classic Saturday morning cartoons. Merle Haggard.
This last December marked fifteen years since I lost my grandmother.
My grandma and I had a very special bond. She was disabled, bound to her wheelchair because of her battle with diabetes and obesity. Her other grandchildren either lived to far away or were too young to spend weekends at her little house on the hill. I know I was her favorite anyway. Everyone says so.
All through my preteen years, I would head to Grandma’s house each Friday afternoon after school. She usually had some baked treat ready for me. My favorite? Strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. If it was basketball season, we’d order in takeout and watch the Portland Trailblazers play.
Grandma would let me stay up late reading. We would work on jigsaw puzzles at her little kitchen table while Merle played on her decrepit stereo. We would bake blueberry muffins for our breakfast and set out cat food on the back step for all the stray kitties that lived in the woods behind her house.
Although I know my grandmother was very lonely at times, she taught me to not be scared of time alone. She taught me the joy of solitary activities while she listened to me sing her the songs I was working on in Choir class. Though she was unable to make it to any of my concerts at school, she was one of the biggest supporters of my singing.
Even though she was sick much of our time together, I have nothing but great memories of her. She was the epitome of unconditional love and I miss her greatly. There may be tears in the corners of my eyes, but it’s a smile on my face as I remember her.